Nobody, really, save his own crew is expecting Brit Liam Smith to surprise people with anything greater than a solid effort, in which maybe he wins a few rounds, maybe stuns Canelo Alvarez.
No, the Saturday junior middleweight tango in Texas, at the Cowboys football stadium, isn't regarded as a must see tussle by the masses…Ah, but there are enough Canelo fans to do a decent number at the stadium and on PPV, testament to his standing as the top Mexican pro pugilist of the post Juan Manuel Marquez era.
WHY IS THIS FIGHT HAPPENING?
This faceoff is a placeholder/table setter affair, sonething for Canelo to do until he caves in and faces off with Gennady Golovkin, who turns 35 next winter and maybe, MAYBE, has more superior athletic days behind him than ahead of him. It will make him and promoter Golden Boy moolah, while they let public demand for the GGG bout grow, following the Floyd Mayweather recipe, for the soufflé he concocted with Manny Pacquiao.
The Canelo and Smith crews had their last hype fest Thursday in Dallas and here are quotes from the gathering:
ARLINGTON, TX (Sept. 15, 2016) – Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) held their final press conference, today at the great AT&T Stadium, ahead of their highly anticipated showdown that will be aired live on Saturday, September 17, presented by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET. The fighting stars were joined by Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Partner, Bernard Hopkins, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones, Director of HBO Sports Tony Walker, and the full pay-per-view undercard.
Below is what the fighters had to say at today's press conference.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“This Saturday night-over Mexican Independence weekend-former two-division world champion, Canelo Alvarez will look to reclaim the holiday for all Hispanics fight fans. Many boxing legends such as Julio Cesar Chavez himself have fought over Mexican Independence weekend, which has been a time for all boxing fans to gather with their friends and family and enjoy a great night.
“We are overjoyed to be bringing this fight to all of Canelo's many fans here in Texas to one of the biggest and most iconic sporting stadiums in the nation-AT&T Stadium, home to America's team, the Dallas Cowboys. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this certainly couldn't be truer with this venue for Canelo vs. Smith.
“For this particular fight, the stakes are high and everything is on the line for both Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith, as these fighters seek to establish themselves as the true WBO Junior Middleweight Champion of the world.
“Tickets are still available for purchase and sales have been through the roof, we are already close to 40,000 have been outpacing Manny Pacquaio's last two fights held at AT&T Stadium, but luckily there are still some available for the Saturday night showdown. So get them while you can by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Additionally, walk up purchases are available at the AT&T Stadium Box Office.”
JERRY JONES, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager:
“I dreamed I was going to spend my days around men and women that could or would be world champions. Men and women who were willing to lay on it all on the line, athletically. I wanted to rub elbows with the top. Oscar the fact that I get to stand with you, have your fighters stand in this stadium chief combatants: Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith, has been a fulfillment on that dream.
“We had Oscar talk to the Dallas Cowboys, and he mentioned that ‘There's a champion in each of you. You'll find out when you get ready.' When I think about the legacy and how you're moving, you really encourage a whole team; that is not only because of this particular fight, but you really are a leader in this.
“The biggest source of pride for me and one of the our largest dependencies are on the Latino fans. The Cowboys depend on them, and they love boxing, so the cowboys love boxing. Saturday night, will be one of the best-selling boxing events for this stadium and we are all looking forward to an exciting night.”
CANELO ALVAREZ, Former Two-Division World Champion:
“Thank everyone for coming and supporting this great event.
“We know how dangerous and difficult Liam Smith will be. We have not taken him lightly and we know he will come to fight on Saturday.
“But that will make a great night of boxing for Mexicans and boxing fans all over. Hopefully by the end of it, I will have my hand in the air screaming Viva Mexico!”
EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“Thank you to all of you who are involved in this great event. There is nothing left to say, we've had a great camp, and thanks again for all the help and support.”
JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Trainer of Canelo Alvarez:
“Thank everyone for coming and attending this great show. We are coming off a tremendous 10 week training camp.
“We have great goals and one is to break the attendance record in a boxing match here at this great stadium.
“This is another opportunity to become a world champion, another opportunity to continue to make history.
“We can't wait to hear all the people yell at the end of this fight Viva Mexico and Viva Canelo Alvarez!”
LIAM “BEEFY” SMITH, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion:
“Thank everyone, team Canelo and my team for this opportunity. We are very calm about entering this fight.
“Canelo is an elite fighter and this is my chance to go up in the ladder.
“I look forward to Saturday and the show we are going to put on for all the fans.”
FRANK WARREN, President of Box Nation and Promoter of Liam Smith:
“Thank Oscar, Eric, and Robert. Thank you Jerry Jones for the stadium and to the
“Liam is a great fighter, a come forward fighter, he has the style of Mexican brawlers something we call in Liverpool a Scousce fighter. This is a great battle, potentially ‘Fight of the Year.'
“You guys are going to be great fans of him. He is coming in as a lion, an undefeated fighter on an eight-fight knock out streak.”
JOE GALLAGHER, 2015 Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year and trainer of Liam Smith:
“This is going to be a great fight, he's a superstar.
“We know that Saul wants to be a world champion, but Liam is ready to stay that way.”
“KING” GABE ROSADO, Former World Title Challenger:
“I want to thank god for this opportunity, without him noting would be possible and I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions. I wasn't spoon fed coming up, but this is a new and approved Gabriel Rosado.
“Vargas and I work well together, he lit up the fighter in me. I know this is a fight, but this is also entertainment. I'm going to bring a knock out on the 17th.”
WILLIE “EL MONGOOSE” MONROE, JR. Former World Title Challenger:
“I come from nothing and I want to thank my team and my brother for everything.
“We worked hard for these opportunities, we gave gone from fighting out of the garage and living off of food stamps and now we are on the big stage. This is one of the biggest stage and I want to thank you all for your support today.”
JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ JR, NABF Featherweight Champion:
“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions, Jerry Jones, HBO, Adriana's Insurance and my team for this great opportunity.
“This is the biggest stage in my career, thus far, and I promise all my fans to expect the best from me. I will put on a great fight and show all the fans who Jose Diaz, Jr. is! See you all in two days.”
ANDREW “EL CHANGO” CANCIO, Featherweight Contender:
“Stylistically, it's a great match up. I am well prepared and I'm thankful for this fight. I am excited to brawl and to showcase myself in front of all the fans at this great stadium.”
DIEGO DE LA HOYA, WBC Youth Super Bantamweight Champion:
“I am very excited for this opportunity and I am very thankful to Golden Boy Promotions.
“This fight is going to open many doors for me and I can't wait to give everyone a good show.”
ORLANDO ‘ORLANDITO' DEL VALLE, Super Welterweight Contender:
“I guarantee you fireworks on Saturday, September 17. I want to thank all my sponsors and my team for this great opportunity.
“The Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, rivalry always grantees action, and Fireworks on fight night.
“I know the odds are crazy against me, but encourage you all to bet on me, because I am going to win on Saturday night.”
ARTHUR R. PELULO, President of Banner Promotions:
“Most great fighters enter the ring knowing they're going to be great fighters and that is who Willie Monroe, Jr. is. He is a very entertaining fighter, a young man who I know as family.
“I know he will be giving all boxing fans a great show this Saturday.
“Eight months ago I was in Manchester, my guy was fighting Liam Smith, challenging him for the vacant title. I figured I was going to win, I was told we are going to win, but my guy was knocked out in the fifth round. And let me tell you, Liam is the real deal. I have been promoting for 30 years, and I have no skin in this, but Liam Smith just keeps coming, he is the real deal. I am not promoting the fight, Oscar is, but Liam Smith took the victory that night and I know he is an intense fighter. Fans will be in for a great fight.”
FERNANDO VARGAS, Former World Champion and Trainer to Gabriel Rosado
“We are excited, ready, Gabriel is a great listener. Starting at 18 and being where he is and his boxuing IQ has improved.
“We've worked hard and are ready.”
TONY WALKER, Director of HBO Sports:
“On behalf of Peter Nelson and the staff at HBO, it's an honor to be a part of so many premiere organizations and to be able to open up this grand palace.
“Thank you Liam and Canelo for taking this challenge and reach in to fans on this great weekend of boxing.”
GREG ALVAREZ, Combative Sports Manager of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
“There's a lot of work that goes into these fights, to make them all happen. Watch these guys back here, they are great fighters and this is going to be a great event. Let's buy more tickets and create bigger and better fights.”
Canelo vs. Smith, a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship, is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Frank Warren and Canelo Promotions. Gabriel Rosado vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Banner Promotions and Diego De La Hoya vs. Luis Orlando Del Valle is presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Roc Nation Sports. The event is sponsored by “Tecate, BORN BOLD,” O'Reilly Auto Parts, “Hennessy. Never Stop. Never Settle,” “Adriana's Insurance, El seguro que necesitas Al precio que quieres pagar,” “AT&T, mobilizing your world,” and Casa Mexico Tequila and will take place on Saturday, September 17 at AT&T Stadium. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. CT, first fight and the RingTvLive.com live stream begins at 3:20 p.m. ET/2:20 p.m. CT/12:20 p.m. PT; the preliminary live stream begins at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT/3:30 p.m. PT; with the main show produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT/6:00 p.m. PT.